Cloudy Peak at 7,915 feet lies just to the northeast of Cloudy Pass in the Glacier Peak wilderness. This makes for a great climb with great views. Practically anyone can get to the summit block but it will take a couple class 4 moves to summit the block. Views of Glacier Peak, Dumbbell Mountain, Chiwawa Mountain, Spider Gap and the Lyman Lakes are spectacular from Cloudy Peak. Get to Cloudy Pass either from the Trinity trail-head or from Holden Village.
From Cloudy Pass, head northward trying to follow some social trails that quickly end.
Ascend generally in a northeast direction until you crest the southwest ridge. Follow this ridge up until you get to the summit block.
To summit the block itself walk to the east side of the summit block and traverse around it towards the back (north) side until you get to a slope you can walk up. You will soon get to a series of class 3 or 4 pitches that can be done without protection but people have roped here. The exposure is pretty minimal and keeping a close eye to where you place your feet and hands will allow you to summit without too much trouble. Getting back down is a little harder than usual here. A fall will most likely not be fatal unless you gain enough horizontal momentum that you roll over the large ledge at the base of the summit block and fall off the north face.
Getting to the base of the summit block will be more than enough for most people though. When I was here I didn't get myself to stand at the very top of the block but I did find a way to get my head above the true summit which was enough for me. These next two photos were taken from the same place near Upper Lyman Lake. Return the way you came.
Red TapeGetting to Cloudy Pass may require a backpack trip. Leave no trace and be sure you have a Northwest Forest Service parking pass to park at any trail-head.
CampingCamp in designated spots in this area of the Glacier Peak wilderness as it is more popular and the grand scenery is very delicate. Designated spots are located at Lower and Upper Lyman Lakes, Image Lake, the top of Cloudy Pass (maybe)...we did camp there one night but we were careful, and Hart Lake.
External LinksSee my Glacier Peak Wilderness Backpack - August 2010 page or my Glacier Peak Wilderness page for more information on how to get to Cloudy Pass.
The new version of "100 classic hikes in Washington" by Ira Spring and Harvey Manning has a great description of the Image Lake/Lyman Lakes/Spider Gap backpack that takes you over Cloudy and Suiattle Passes. The photos are also worth seeing.